Zaha Hadid: Wallpaper for Marburg

And as much as we talked about ‘the surface’ in architecture school, it was never a wallpapered surface. But I like wallpaper. I think it was a bathroom that made me fall in love with wallpaper– wallpaper that was original to the house where I grew up. Printed in the early 1940’s, the sparse pattern of bluebirds nested in a motif of cherry blossom branches was memorable enough that I am willing to overlook almost all of the wallpaper printed after 1980.

There have been a few projects by architects that have reminded me of wallpaper; the most obvious to me is The Library of Birmingham by Mecanoo, but maybe this Herzog and de Meuron project (or this one) is more obvious to others. None of Zaha Hadid‘s projects have reminded me of wallpaper; nonetheless, she’s decided to move from designing shoes to designing series of wallpapers with swiss company Marburg.

Some of the wallpapers look less like the work of a Pritzker-Prize winning architect and more like Magic Eye poster designs to me; but I think the blue and grey wallpaper (top) relates more to her body of work in that it appears as movement. Also, from certain angles, it can make you queazy.


P.S. Shortly before he died, Oscar Wilde is rumored to have said “My wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. One or the other of us has to go.”

November 15, 2010